Netherlands Refuses to Mandate Face Masks; Sweden Says they are ‘Pointless’

The Netherlands has decided not to mandate the wearing of face masks in public, citing the fact that there is no scientific evidence to suggest they are effective against the spread of the coronavirus.

“From a medical perspective there is no proven effectiveness of masks, the Cabinet has decided that there will be no national obligation for wearing non-medical masks” announced Netherlands Minister for Medical Care Tamara van Ark.

The country’s National Institute for Health (RIVM) noted that it is aware of studies from other countries that purport to show masks slow the spread of disease, but will not be heeding them.

Indeed, RIVM chief Jaap van Dissel warned that wearing masks incorrectly, in addition to the effect masks have of eroding the perceived need for social distancing, could increase the risk of transmission because of a “false sense of security”.

So we think that if you’re going to use masks (in a public setting) … then you must give good training for it,” he said.

Within the past week in the Netherlands, around 1400 new COVID-19 cases were reported, which equates to 342 more than the week before.

In Sweden, meanwhile, senior epidemiologist Anders Tegnell declared that there is “no point” in wearing masks in public.

“We see no point in wearing a face mask in Sweden, not even on public transport,” Tegnell said.

Sweden, which has not even instituted a lock down at any time, appears to be seeing a downward trend in cases.

At the beginning of this week, Sweden announced just 398 new cases, down from 767 the week before and 2,530 one month ago.

“The curves go down, and the curves over the seriously ill begin to be very close to zero. As a whole, it is very positive,” Tegnell asserted.

Source: Infowars

Survey: Americans Think COVID-19 has Killed 30 Million People in the U.S. 225X Higher than Even CDC Overblown Figures

A new survey by research firm Kekst CNC has found that on average, people in the U.S. think 9 per cent of the population, around 30 million people, have died from coronavirus when the ‘actual’ figure is less than 155,000.

The survey results generally across six countries, including America, found that, “People think coronavirus is more widespread, and more deadly, than official figures show.”

In Sweden and the UK in particular, people vastly overestimate the number of lives COVID-19 has claimed.

From the survey;

“Despite relatively low incidence rates compared to earlier in the pandemic in most countries (with the exception of the U.S.), people significantly over-estimate the spread and fatality rate of the disease. In Sweden and the UK for example, the public think 6-7% of people have died from coronavirus – around one hundred times the actual death rate based on official figures.”

In other words, people in the UK think coronavirus is 100 times more deadly than it actually is.

The numbers for America are even more out of sync with reality.

The survey found that Americans think 9% of the population in the U.S. have died from coronavirus. This percentage would equate to almost 30 million COVID-19 deaths. The actual death toll currently stands at just under 155,000 deaths.

Americans’ estimation of coronavirus deaths is therefore a whopping is 225 higher than the actual number of people who have died.

People in the U.S. also believe that 20% of Americans have had coronavirus, 20 times higher than the number of confirmed cases.

The survey also revealed that across all countries, “people think 5-12% of people currently have coronavirus.” In reality, even at the height of the pandemic, in England for example, only 0.27% of the community population had COVID-19.

This highlights once again how media alarmism surrounding the spread and lethality of the virus has caused many people to become hysterical and overly paranoid about COVID-19.

In reality, the 2017-18 flu season in the UK claimed more lives than coronavirus while ONS statistics show that current overall deaths are below the five year average for the sixth week in a row.

As Infowars has highlighted, in some cases this has resulted in bizarre behavior, such as people literally leaping out of the way of other people walking their way and people being “too scared” to go outside.

The innumerable incidents involving aggressive confrontations and in some cases violent attacks on others for the sin of not social distancing or wearing a mask can also be partly explained by media scaremongering coverage of the pandemic.

Report: CIA Secretly Owned World’s Top Encryption Supplier, Read Enemy and Ally Messages for Decades

For more than half a century, governments all over the world trusted a single company to keep the communications of their spies, soldiers and diplomats secret. That company was secretly run by the CIA, which had the ability to read all those communications for decades.

Greg Miller at the Washington Post:

The company, Crypto AG, got its first break with a contract to build code-making machines for U.S. troops during World War II. Flush with cash, it became a dominant maker of encryption devices for decades, navigating waves of technology from mechanical gears to electronic circuits and, finally, silicon chips and software.

The Swiss firm made millions of dollars selling equipment to more than 120 countries well into the 21st century. Its clients included Iran, military juntas in Latin America, nuclear rivals India and Pakistan, and even the Vatican.

But what none of its customers ever knew was that Crypto AG was secretly owned by the CIA in a highly classified partnership with West German intelligence. These spy agencies rigged the company’s devices so they could easily break the codes that countries used to send encrypted messages.

The decades-long arrangement, among the most closely guarded secrets of the Cold War, is laid bare in a classified, comprehensive CIA history of the operation obtained by The Washington Post and ZDF, a German public broadcaster, in a joint reporting project.

Read more: ‘The intelligence coup of the century’ (Requires subscription)

Or, read Report at Forbes for free HERE

via https://boingboing.net/2020/02/11/cia-secretly-owned-worlds-to.html

Report: Record 3,000 Christian Sites in Europe Vandalized in 2019

Christian sites in Europe suffered a record number of attacks in the year 2019, with some 3,000 Christian churches, schools, cemeteries, and monuments vandalized, looted, or defaced.

Reports compiling the anti-Christian acts during the year document a range of profanation including arson, defecation, desecration, looting, mockery, Satanism, theft, urination, and vandalism.

“Sadly, 2019 was punctuated by increasing incidents of desecration and vandalism of churches around Europe, along with the 2019 fire at the Notre-Dame Cathedral, which captured worldwide attention,” the director of The Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe, Ellen Fantini, told Breitbart News on Saturday.

“In most instances the perpetrators of these acts were unidentified, but the Observatory has documented that churches and other symbols of Christianity in Europe are targets for many groups — from Islamists to radical feminists, LGBT activists to anarchists and self-proclaimed Satanists,” Ms. Fantini said.

In all, some 3,000 Christian churches, schools, cemeteries, and monuments were vandalized, looted or defaced in Europe during 2019, making it a record year for anti-Christian sacrilege.

The greatest number of acts of violence against Christian sites have occurred in France, where churches, schools, cemeteries, and monuments “are being vandalized, desecrated, and burned at an average rate of three per day,” according to reports citing government statistics.

Germany is not far behind, with attacks against Christian churches happening at an average rate of two per day. Meanwhile, attacks on Christian churches and symbols regularly occurred in 2019 in Belgium, the UK, Denmark, Ireland, Italy, and Spain as well.

While the violence overwhelmingly involves Roman Catholic sites and symbols, in Germany, Protestant churches have also been targeted.

Police and mainstream media almost always censor information about the identities and ethnic backgrounds of the perpetrators, so it is difficult to get a clear idea as to who is committing the crimes and the motives behind them — especially when they are religiously driven.

In France and Germany, the sharp rise in anti-Christian attacks has coincided with the recent mass immigration from the Muslim world, yet the lack of official statistics makes it impossible to know precisely how many attacks can be attributed to Islamic anti-Christian hostility.

“European governments and politicians, with a few exceptions, seem reluctant to address this problem,” Ms. Fantini told Breitbart.

Fantini said she agrees with former UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt that “the UK and other Western governments have not grappled with the issue perhaps because of a misguided political correctness or an instinctive reluctance to talk about religion.”

In 2019, only nine European states reported hate crime data relating to Christians to the OSCE for their hate crime report, Fantini noted, which is fewer than the number of states that report hate crimes with an anti-Muslim or antisemitic bias.

According to Bishop Dominique Rey of Fréjus-Toulon, we are “witnessing the convergence of laicism – conceived as secularism, which relegates the faithful only to the private sphere and where every religious denomination is banal or stigmatized – with the overwhelming emergence of Islam, which attacks the infidels and those who reject the Koran.

“On one hand, we are mocked by the media that discredit the action of the Church, in particular regarding sexual abuse, and on the other, there is the strengthening of Islamic fundamentalism. These are two joint realities,” he said.

Source: https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2020/01/11/report-record-3000-christian-sites-europe-vandalized-2019/

How Every Asset Class, Currency, and Sector Performed in 2019

Another year is in the books, and for investors 2019 was quite the turnaround story.

Despite an early backdrop of heightened volatility, escalating trade tensions, Brexit uncertainty, and calls for a recession, the year progressed in an unexpectedly pleasant fashion. The Fed used its limited arsenal to provide additional stimulus, and global markets soaked it up to extend the decade-long bull run.

By the end of 2019, every major asset class was in the black — and the S&P 500 surged to finish with its best annual return since 2013.

Markets Roundup for 2019

Let’s take a look at major asset classes in 2019, to see how they fared:

Note: all indices here (i.e. S&P 500, Russell 2000, etc.) are using total returns, with dividends re-invested.

The first thing you’ll notice when looking at the above data is that every major asset class had a positive return for the year. The only real difference lies in the magnitude of that positive return.

Even though stocks experienced some of the best gains on the year, the winning asset may be a surprising one: crude oil.

The oil price (WTI) started the year at about $46/bbl and it closed the year at over $61/bbl, good for a 34% gain. And with escalating tensions between the U.S. and Iran, energy prices could be shooting even higher in 2020.

Performance by S&P 500 Sector

Strangely enough, rising oil prices did not do enough to buoy energy stocks — the poorest performing S&P 500 sector.

Although oil was up on the year, natural gas actually fell in price by about 26% in 2019. This effectively cancels out the gains made by oil, putting energy producers at the bottom of the list:

Not surprisingly, technology stocks excelled in 2019.

Tech was led by a big bounceback from Apple, a big winner that gained more than 80% over the course of the year. Other strong sectors in the benchmark U.S. index included communication services and financials.

The Currency Game

Now let’s look how currencies moved in 2019.

Below movements are all against the U.S. dollar, with the exception of the U.S. dollar itself, which is measured against a basket of currencies (U.S. Dollar Index):

The biggest currency mover on the year was the Canadian dollar, which jumped over 5% partially thanks to rising oil prices. Meanwhile, the biggest decrease went to the euro, which fell over 2% against the U.S. dollar.

It’s also worthwhile to note that Bitcoin had a particularly strong rebound in 2019, rising over 90% against the U.S. dollar.

Winners and Losers

Finally, we’ve put together a more arbitrary list of winners and losers for the year, incorporating all of the above and more.

Both the Greek and Russian stock markets had banner years, each returning close to 50% in dollar terms. Faux meat brands also captured investors’ imaginations, with Beyond Meat leading the charge. Palladium was a standout commodity, gaining 59% on the year.

We’ve chosen energy stocks as a loser, since they were the poorest performing sector on the S&P 500. Meanwhile, Macy’s and Abiomed were two of the worst large cap stocks to own in 2019.

Source: https://www.visualcapitalist.com/how-every-asset-class-currency-and-sector-performed-in-2019/